Work-life balance is an abstract, mythical concept that is defined differently according to each individual. Some of us are workaholics and are happy working long hours and weekends to achieve their professional targets, while others think that even working part-time may be too much and may keep them away from their true life goals.
So, there is no universal recipe to establishing a satisfactory work-life balance. It’s a delicate balance act (pun intended) that can bring feelings of satisfaction or frustration with our life overall.
Here are 5 tips that can help reach your own balance, in accordance with your personality and lifelong dreams.
1. Let go of perfectionism
In theory, we know that no one and nothing is perfect, so then why do we keep searching for perfection in all aspects of our life? Our work needs to be perfect, our outfit needs to be perfect, our relationships need to be perfect, our kids need to be perfect and so on.
Perfectionism is not necessarily a positive trait, as people tend to make it seem, especially in resumes and job interviews. Being a perfectionist doesn’t really help you in any way, it only burdens your mind with useless details and eats up your time unnecessarily.
Don’t strive for perfection, strive for your best self, even if that means making allowances for yourself every now and then. Don’t waste your time polishing a single project until it shines bright like a diamond. Your efforts will be appreciated, but no one will ever know how much you worked for it and that can be frustrating.
2. Switch off
The best tip for a successful work-life balance is leaving your work at work and leaving your personal life at home, as difficult as this might be sometimes. Try to ignore the work email while jogging and try to forget about every work related task when playing with your kids.
Also, ideally, don’t let the argument you had with your mom over the phone affect your day at work and try to postpone making plans for your upcoming trip to Paris when you should be focusing on a new professional project.
3. Exercise and meditate
I won’t even begin enumerating the benefits of exercise, because I’m sure we all know them by heart. Bottom line: exercise is good for you, so try to squeeze it in your schedule, as hard as this may seem.
But just as you need exercise for your body, you also need exercise for your mind. Meditation is that restful mind exercise whose benefits are also very well known. It only takes a few minutes a day to start owning your mental land.
4. Focus on what matters
Both when you work and when you relax. Try to give up activities that don’t serve your purposes and don’t help you in any way. The same goes for people. You don’t need to spend time with people you don’t like just like there’s no need for you to do anything you don’t like just to impress others.
Also, try to avoid falling down the rabbit hole and turning a short break from work into a long social media escapade. Make sure you’re doing what you should be doing, when you should be doing it, so as to avoid working long hours or taking work home with you.
5. Don’t offer to take more than you can handle
This also applies both for your job and for your personal life. If you feel you have more than enough responsibilities, resist the urge to accept even more. If you have a busy after-work schedule, just admit it and start saying no to invitations or people asking for your help.
Always think about your priorities and give them plenty of time and energy, so you don’t end up running on empty.